A Cross-sectional Analysis of Minimum USMLE Step 1 and 2 Criteria Used by Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs in Screening Residency Applications

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Abstract

Introduction:

The purpose of this study was to analyze how program directors (PDs) of orthopaedic surgery residency programs use United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and 2 scores in screening residency applicants.

Methods:

A survey was sent to each allopathic orthopaedic surgery residency PD. PDs were asked if they currently use minimum Step 1 and/or 2 scores in screening residency applicants and if these criteria have changed in recent years.

Results:

Responses were received from 113 of 151 PDs (75%). One program did not have the requested information and five declined participation, leaving 107 responses analyzed. Eighty-nine programs used a minimum USMLE Step 1 score (83%). Eighty-three programs (78%) required a Step 1 score ≥210, 80 (75%) required a score ≥220, 57 (53%) required a score ≥230, and 22 (21%) required a score ≥240. Multiple PDs mentioned the high volume of applications as a reason for using a minimum score and for increasing the minimum score in recent years.

Discussion:

A large proportion of orthopaedic surgery residency PDs use a USMLE Step 1 minimum score when screening applications in an effort to reduce the number of applications to be reviewed.

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